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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Militants 'shoot down Syrian jet in Aleppo'

Iran Press TV

Tue Apr 5, 2016 1:42PM

A Syrian warplane has been shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired by militants in the northern province of Aleppo, a Syrian military source says.

The unnamed official told state media on Tuesday that the jet was targeted while on a reconnaissance mission and its pilot ejected.

The plane was downed over the Talat al-Iss highland near the village of Eis, south of Aleppo, according to reports.

It was "likely that (al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria) al-Nusra Front shot down the plane and took the pilot," a militant source said, adding that the jet had been hit by heavy machine gun fire.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also said the downing had been carried out by the Nusra Front terrorist group, saying the militants captured the pilot and took him to one of their headquarters in the area.

Social media videos purport to show the pilot parachuting down from the plane and smoke coming from the crash site.

Deadly Aleppo shelling

In another development on Tuesday, terrorists fired tens of mortar and rocket shells into the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood of Aleppo City, killing 14 people and injuring 50 others.

Syria's official news agency SANA quoted local sources as saying that the death toll is expected to rise as some people are still under the debris of three buildings collapsed in the shelling.

On April 4, militants also targeted the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood with rockets, damaging houses while leaving eight civilians dead and 20 more wounded.

The attacks come despite a ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia, which took effect on February 27.

A Russian coordination center tasked with reconciling warring parties in Syria said the truce had been violated over 350 times since then, mostly in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and Latakia.

Syria has been gripped by militancy since 2011. SOHR says at least 270,000 people have since been killed in the war-ravaged country; however, some reports put the death toll at over 470,000.

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